How to differentiate between squad, team and playing XI?

Cricket is a sport where one match is played between two teams. Before a tournament or a one-off match, the national governing body of cricket of a side or the selection committee of a franchise chooses the members who will be a part of the team.

A team in cricket consists of players and support staff that includes the team manager, coaches and physiotherapist(s). A total of 15 players make a squad. Before the match begins, the captain announces the eleven players who will take to the field. This is usually announced during the coin toss. These players are the playing XI of the side. A playing XI once announced cannot be changed.

In addition to the playing XI, a side also has substitutes in case one of the players is injured or cannot play for any other reason. The types of substitutes in cricket can be tactical or concussion substitutes. The COVID-19 pandemic has also introduced a COVID-19 substitute.

In some cricket tournaments, the captain of the side announces a 12-member side instead of the playing XI. This is because the 12th member is an already nominated substitute who cannot bat or bowl but can only field. 

Certain media outlets use the word roster in place of squad when they report the list of included players. However, the word roster is not synonymous to the word squad. The usage of the word ‘roster’ is more appropriate for the list of players who are shortlisted to make the 15-member squad
Hence, in terms of individuals involved, the descending order is roster > team > squad > playing XI.

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